Learners teaching and learning strange behaviour

Photo: Facebook

Disruptions at SA schools – ‘ancestral calling’ or just TikTok challenge?

As more bizarre behaviour of learners is reported, we take a closer look to see if this is an ancestral calling or just a TikTok challenge.

Learners teaching and learning strange behaviour

Photo: Facebook

More than ten schools around South Africa have had recent disruptions with incidents where learners were seen vomiting, screaming, and passing out.


According to the learners involved, they received a calling from their ancestors.

Videos of these incidents have been shared all over social media.

The public, however, had their doubts and jumped at the chance to speculate whether these bizarre videos had anything to do with the recent viral TikTok #SchoolsChallenge.

This comes as police in KwaZulu-Natal had to disperse a rowdy and unruly crowd of learners in Phoenix last month who embarked on the viral TikTok #SchoolsChallenge.

ALSO READ: WC learners vomiting, screaming – claiming they got ‘a calling’ from their ancestors


Instead of school bags, learners brought washing machines, prams, cooler boxes, supermarket trolleys, and other items.

So we understand why readers and the public would immediately jump to this conclusion, but according to the Department of Basic Education, this is NOT a TikTok challenge and is viewed in a serious light.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Limpopo school closed after ‘strange’ behaviour by learners

Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said there were about ten schools around the country where these incidents have been reported.


“The occurrence of learners falling down and crying is not new. It was already there even before Google was established, let alone TikTok or any other app for that matter. It is definitely not some social media challenge,” he said.

Mhlanga explained that one would need to witness such an incident to understand what it entails.

“This is a real thing which happens. You only need to either experience it or witness it to fully comprehend what takes place where it hits a school.

“It is a complex matter, and there is no single answer to it as in some communities they prefer pastors to address it whereas in others they say izangoma must intervene.”

He furthermore said the Department planned to work with the religious community to explore an approach to deal with this as it results in schools being disrupted and closed which is undesirable.

ALSO READ: WATCH: KZN pupils stone cars doing the #Schoolbag TikTok challenge